Mater Dei's Johnson keeps SoCal options open
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Mater Dei forward Stanley Johnson has narrowed his list to six schools.
That list includes both USC and UCLA.
Johnson isn’t quite ready to announce if he’ll be staying home to play his college ball or not, but there are some that believe that USC’s hiring of a couple of L.A. guys, Tony Bland and Jason Hart as assistant coaches, could have Johnson landing with the Trojans.
USC turned a lot of heads by hiring Andy Enfield as their head coach. Johnson is paying attention.
As Enfield led Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16, becoming the first No. 15 seed to do so, Johnson, like the rest of America, was watching.
“Every time they played, they was the biggest game of the year,” Johnson said of FGCU. “I was really surprised how well they did in the tournament.”
The Mater Dei rising senior says he has spoken with Enfield since his hiring at USC and is a huge fan of the style of play implored by the head coach.
“Hopefully that Dunk City thing can be brought back to USC,” Johnson said. “I want to be (in) a West Coast (style of) offense.
“I play with the (Oakland) Soldiers and Mater Dei. Same style of offense, up and down, and you go as fast as possible down the court.”
As for UCLA, Johnson introduced himself to new head coach Steve Alford and assistant David Grace when they paid a visit to Mater Dei recently but says he would like to sit down and talk with them extensively. Such a meeting is scheduled for early May.
“I haven’t really felt him out yet,” Johnson said of Alford. “I know (former head coach Ben) Howland was a great coach. It’s going to be tough to one-up him because he was really excited about me but he’s not there anymore. UCLA’s (still) a great campus without Howland, so he has a great opportunity to get me.”
If any of the local schools are able to fight off Kentucky, among others, for Johnson’s services, it will be a huge coup for that program.